As legendary East Coast thrash metal band Overkill celebrate the release of their 17th studio album, White Devil Armory, we asked founding member and bassist D.D. Verni to give us his five personal bass gods.
1. Geezer Butler
Come on, does there even have to be an explanation next to his name?
2. Steve Harris
I never took any lessons, but I might as well have from Steve Harris. Playing along with those records early on is how I learned to play the bass—we did every song from the first two Maiden records when we were a cover band. Also, he was the major songwriter in the band and it showed—a big influence on me and probably every bass player of my generation.
3. Dee Dee Ramone
Probably not a popular choice, but I loved that bass slung real low, the fact that he played with a pick instead of fingers and all the rhythmic down-picking to match with Johnny [Ramone, guitar]. As far as I'm concerned, the Ramones were the predecessors to playing bass in a thrash band. Basically a rhythm guitar with four strings. You gotta keep up with the guitars, man!
4. Tom Hamilton
Very underrated in my opinion. Him and drummer Joey Kramer—take them away and there is no Aerosmith. He always has clever ideas and is not too busy, with the bottom line being they never lose the swing in the song.
5. Joey DeMaio
I know that Manowar’s lyrics and little speeches onstage are silly, but I’ve always loved Joey’s playing, especially on the earlier stuff. Still the only guy I know that consistently uses an eight-string and plays really cool shit. Plus, even in a ballad or quiet moment, he always plays for power. I’ve never been a big fan of any playing (or music for that matter) that did not put power and attitude first.
Check out the video for “Armorist,” from Overkill’s latest album, White Devil Armory: